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Great Expectations: Want Less & Get More
by Jim M. Allen

There's an old rock-and-roll song goes "You can't always get what you want..." It continues, of course, to point out that one might, however, just "...get what you need."

I like to think of that song as a reminder about keeping oneself open to all of the wondrous possibilities life has to offer and not focusing too much on exact specifications about what one wants.

Often times we set our sights on a goal and convince ourselves that we must have that thing in exactly that way. Then we find ourselves miserable and depressed when what we wanted doesn't happen exactly the way we envisioned it.

I've proved this many times in my own life:

As a teenager, I decided I wanted to be a writer. So I wrote story after story, article after article, and when I was 15 I sold my first 2 articles to national magazines, I started writing a column for my weekly paper, and I was had found a mentor in a published author of some note.

I was getting what I wanted right? Oh no. I convinced myself that I would only be a "real" writer when I wrote a book. The problem was I didn't have a book in me, I didn't have a single book idea. Even though I was making progress, my expectation that any good writer could write a book led to my frustration with writing altogether. I stopped writing altogether and didn't try again for nearly 10 years.

In those years I shifted my perspective about writing as well as about life. I put less pressure on getting exactly what I wanted and emphasized enjoying the things that developed.

As time went by, I expected less and started getting more of the things that I wanted. Often times before even knowing I wanted them. After I quit writing, my life led me to the military, to television production, to training, to voice-overs, to speaking, and then to coaching. And wouldn't you know it, coaching led me right back to writing, when my goal was simply to find ways to coach as many people as possible.

Don't misunderstand me -- I'm not talking about giving up on goals or not creating plans about how you will achieve them, only in not tying yourself down to a specific outcome.

Stay open to the possibilities in life and life will stay eminently open to you!

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Jim Allen is a professional life coach, speaker, and writer. Get more great ideas in you email every week by subscribing to Jim's weekly newsletter, THE BIG IDEA, by sending a blank email to: mailto:Subscribe@CoachJim.com (2001 Jim Allen & CoachJim.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

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